France Vacation: Nice & South of France Recap

Hi there! We last left off with my Paris recap. If you missed it, catch it here. After 4 nights in Paris, we headed to the airport and made our way to Nice. Originally, I had wanted to take the train, but when I realized that even the fast speed one was still over a 6 hour trip, I decided to get us flights. They were cheaper, but more than that, they gave us more time in Nice.

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I did a lot of research prior to deciding on Nice as our home-base, and I ultimately chose Nice because it is kind of the hub of the French Riviera/South of France. The airport is there, there’s a train station, you can easily do day trips to many other small towns, there are many hotels (and nice ones!) and it’s big enough to offer a lot. Nice ended up not being our favorite part of the last leg of the trip (it was a bit too big and too touristy for our liking, making it feel like some of the charm had been lost), but we are still happy that we opted to stay there since it was so easy to bop all around the French Riviera. We even ended up spending a day in a small Italian town, which was just an hour train ride away from Nice – it was pretty cool!

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Where We Stayed

While we chose an AirBnB for the Paris portion of the trip, I wanted to do a hotel for the last part. I wanted to be in a great location and have great amenities, and the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais se la Méditerranée was a perfect option for us. Prior to booking at the Hyatt, we booked at Le Meridian, but as I read more Trip Advisor bad reviews, I knew we had change hotels. After our sub par hotel experience in Sorrento, we have agreed it’s worth spending a little more to ensure a comfortable stay. The Hyatt was perfect for us! We opted for a partial sea view (how could you not when you’re staying on the water?!) and it was well worth it! We also loved the balcony and spent lots of time out there. The room, bed, closets and bathroom were all so spacious – not something you generally find in European hotels!

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There was a beautiful pool, small – but nice – gym, lounge areas and a spa. Not to mention the location couldn’t be beat!

The only downside was the breakfast was not included and was rather pricey, so we only did it once (28 euros each!). The drinks were also pricey, but we ended up getting beer and wine at local stores which was a great way to save a little money.

What We Did

As I mentioned, our intent during our time in the south of France was to visit some of the small towns along the coast. Luckily the train station was a less than a 10 minute walk from our hotel so it made for easy day and half day trips. We weren’t able to hit all of the towns we wanted to, but we laughed because after seeing a few, we figured they were all pretty similar 😉

  • Villafranche-sur-Mer – I think this was literally a 10 minute train ride from Nice! We spent the afternoon walking around the cute streets, seeing some of the sites, having lunch and relaxing by the water. I also picked up a super cute dress at a little boutique. We both loved this little town.

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  • Monaco – Did you know that Monaco is a COUNTRY? It’s the second smallest country, with the Vatican as the first smallest. Unfortunately, we went on a Sunday, when most things were closed. We had wanted to rent a scooter to get around because it was so hilly and it was so hot and humid, so we were bummed when all the shops were closed. Roberto also forgot his license so we were not able to get into the casino {insert palm to forehead emoji}. We weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves so we ended up hopping on one of those hop on-hop off buses and were brought to some beautiful parts of Monaco! We totally enjoyed our afternoon there and learning about how the Formula 1 racing came to be. What a wealthy, wealthy little country – the yacht scene was unbelievable!

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  • Ventimiglia – This was a small Italian town right on the border of France. Roberto was so happy to be there because he was able to communicate with everyone, unlike when we were in France. We had the BEST day in this amazing little town. We walked all through the old part of the town and it was so neat to be walking through all the tiny streets and interacting with all the locals. We saw some beautiful churches, walked through an incredible farmers market, napped on the beach and frolicked in the warm water. It was one of our favorite days of the trip!
  • Walked along the Promenade des Anglais – this is the big street along the water in Nice. Our hotel was on this street, so we did lots of walking along it.

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  • Explore Nice – there’s a “new” part and an “old” part, so it was interesting to see how they differed. We found a really big market one day and enjoyed seeing all that people were trying to sell! Due to all of our little day trips, we didn’t get the chance to spend too much time really exploring Nice, but we did enjoy walking around the old part and seeing all the different shops, architecture and charm!
  • Drinks at Hotel Negresco – this is supposed to be one of the oldest/nicest hotels in Nice. It’s has beautiful architecture and I’ve heard the restaurants are quite an experience. We opted to pop in one evening for a glass of champagne on their patio – it was really nice!

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  • Swim! We swam so much during this part of the trip. The water was incredible! A few times we even picked up sandwiches and wine and sat on the beach while the sun set. It was so relaxing.

Where To Eat

I don’t have too many recommendations here – unfortunately, I don’t remember all of the places we ate at!

  • Le 3e Restaurant Terrace at the Hyatt – we had lunch here and ordered room service once night and both experiences were great! The only thing about eating at hotels is that the prices tend to be higher than elsewhere.
  • Villa RINA – One afternoon RM was in the mood for a beer and watching some soccer so we popped into Villa RINA, which was right near our hotel. We ended up grabbing a burger (how French, right?!) and it was SO good! We had breakfast there one morning, too, which was nothing special.

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  • Les Pecheurs – We were in the mood for fish one night so I did some googling and stumbled upon Les Pecheurs, which had high reviews on multiple sights. It was a little ways from the hotel and therefore away from all the crowds. We enjoyed a great dinner outside in the harbor area – definitely worth the cab ride there!
  • Le Plongeoir – When we were buying my bag in Paris, we were chatting with the woman working there and it turns out she was from Nice. I asked her where she would recommend going for a non-touristy, cool place and her suggestion for Le Plongeoir couldn’t have been more perfect! We didn’t get a reservation so we didn’t get to sit up top, but we enjoyed cocktails and snacks in the lower level. We were able to see the sunset which was beautiful!

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  • L’Antica – We were looking for a good steak frites basically our entire trip, so finally on the last night we asked the hotel concierge and they recommended L’Antica. I loved that it was not in the midst of the touristy hustle and bustle of Nice – it was a hidden gem! The food was incredible, too! As was the wine 😉

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And that does it for the French Riviera/South of France recap! Overall, we really enjoyed our time here, but it didn’t have the same charm we experience in our Amalfi Coast honeymoon which kind of bummed us out. That said, I had always wanted to go to the South of France so I’m very grateful we had the opportunity to do so. We saw some beautiful little towns and really enjoyed the experience!

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Telluride Ski/Ride/Vacation Recap

Hey there! While I’m loving my {slightly sporadic} newsletter adventure, I thought B2B would be a better place to share our Telluride recap. If you remember, last year we went to Jackson Hole and were blessed with pretty much non-stop snow the entire time we were there. It made every run feel like a powder/first track run, which was awesome! While we were not lucky enough to have any snow during our time in Telluride {read: lightest snow fall in YEARS – bare ground everywhere!}, we still had a wonderful trip. The little town, the hotel, the views and the mountains were everything I’d seen in pictures that initially made me want to visit.

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Here are details on our stay – I would fully recommend ALL of these to anyone planning to visit Telluride. There wasn’t one thing that we would’ve changed during our time there. Well, except to have the snow Gods on our side to bless us with more snow 🙂  That said, since our initial flight out was cancelled and our flight home was cancelled, I’m also going to share some details about our unplanned 2 night stay in Dallas. We were both more than ready to be home, but made the best of our stay in Dallas and had some great meals and drinks worthwhile of sharing.

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Flights

When flying to Telluride, you either fly to Montrose or Telluride. I couldn’t find any flights into Telluride, so I am guessing it must be for private plans/very wealthy people or locals. We flew into Montrose (with a layover in Dallas) and then used a shuttle service to get from Montrose to downtown Telluride, which was a 90 minute ride. We used Telluride Express which ended up being a little over $100/pp round trip.

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Where to Stay

I did a lot of research before we went in terms of where to stay. There are two areas that people generally stay: downtown Telluride or Mountain Village. Downtown Telluride is just a short (15 minute gondola ride) to Mountain Village, but has a better restaurant/bar scene. Mountain Village is at the base of the mountain and has a good array of hotels and restaurants, but they tend to be a bit busier since they’re at the base of the mountain. We opted to stay in downtown Telluride because we wanted more of a restaurant/nightlife scene (even though we went to bed so early every night!) and were very happy with this decision.

Originally we planned on doing an Airbnb, but they ended up being the same price as hotels so we booked at Hotel Columbia, which I couldn’t recommend more! The location was perfect – it was within close (5 minutes) walking distance to all the good restaurants, shops, Main street and literally across the street from the gondola and 1 chair lift that took you up to the mountain if you didn’t want to go to Mountain Village. Our room (room 42)  was on the 4th floor, had a balcony overlooking the mountain, a gas fireplace, small kitchenette with a 2 burner stove, refrigerator and microwave, a large bathroom with heated floors and towel rack, the most comfortable bed and little sitting area. Included in our stay was access to their ski/board storage room downstairs and a delicious (and plentiful) breakfast which included lots of coffee, fresh juice, eggs, bacon, yogurt, homemade granola, homemade pastries and more. It was the best way to start the day! They also have a super popular happy hour at their restaurant, Cosmopolitan, with $5 Cosmo’s and snacks. We wanted to have dinner there, but they were booked the night we wanted to go 😦

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Overall, we would HIGHLY recommend staying here – the staff was so knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I had called ahead to see if they would stock our fridge with some local beers for RM and they were so sweet in this accommodation!

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Mountain Details

Telluride is really big, with incredible altitude levels. It was crazy how high it was! We didn’t get to all of the trails since neither of us have fun on blacks or double blacks, but the blues and double blues that we went on were awesome! We loved the Polar Express lift, Prospect Express and Plunge. Getting to the top of Plunge was SO scary because it was so high, but Woozley’s Way and/or See Forever were great trails with beautiful views!

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They have a few restaurants at various peaks and we opted to get drinks at Bon Vivant mid-day one day. I’m not big on mid-day drinking, though, as it decreases my motivation to continue skiing 😉

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We Apres’d at Tomboy Tavern at the base of Mountain Village a few times and really enjoyed both their outdoor bar and indoor fireplace area.

Eats

Ah! We ate SO well during our time in Telluride. On our first day, we went to the grocery store (just like Whole Foods) and stocked up on stuff for lunches since we prefer to not eat out 3x a day.

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With the location of our hotel, we were able to pop “home” to eat lunch and then go back out, which was great. For our non-room meals, here are some places we enjoyed

  • Smuggler’s – This was our first stop after arriving into Telluride as we were looking for a drink and food STAT, and this was down the street from Hotel Columbia. We shared wings, a salad and fried calamari and enjoyed it! It’s a brewery, so they have a large beer selection.
  • New Sheridan Chop House – After all of my Telluride research, I felt like this was a must. Luckily, we were able to find seats right at the bar and enjoyed some cocktails and a delicious steak dinner, paired with a lovely glass of Barolo 😉

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  • There… – This was a recommendation that came from someone at Hotel Columbia, and we were so thankful for it! They are a small place off the beaten path, but somehow when we walked in they had 2 seats at the bar that we were able to snag. The drinks were funky and interesting, the service was great and the food was incredible. We shared a few small plates and both couldn’t get over how flavorful everything was. It was honestly one of the best meals we’ve had in a while!
  • Tomboy Tavern – We had some “nachos” after skiing one day and they were made with homemade potato chips rather than tortilla chips… a combination we both really enjoyed!
  • Brown Dog Pizza – While perusing through some of the shops along Main Street, we asked someone where we could find good pizza and this was her suggestion. A short couple of blocks later and we, again, stumbled into a busy restaurant that luckily had 2 bar spots open up just as we walked in. The bar staff were SO friendly and we took their suggestion to try their Detroit style pizza which was a combination of deep dish and Sicilian. In short, it was amazing. We were very happy with this recommendation!

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  • Cosmopolitan – Again, we didn’t end up getting a chance to eat here (we fell asleep at 8pm our first night and opted for pizza on our last night), but everywhere I read recommended it. Plus, by the looks of the crowds we saw in there every night it must be good!

Overall, even without snow, we loved our time in Telluride! It was the cutest little town that felt like it was right out of a movie!

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And now onto Dallas. I’ve been to Dallas probably 10 times, so I wasn’t super excited about being stuck there for 2 days, but we did a great job making the best of it. We stayed at the Sheraton in downtown Dallas, which I realized I had stayed at before. They had a HUGE gym and nice pool, although jeans and a longsleeve were the best I could do for sun bathing clothing 😉

We walked to Deep Ellum and had incredible beers at Braindead Brewing. Nothing like sitting outside in 65* weather in March! We had tacos and margarita’s at Maraca’s and hit the hay early.

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On our final day there, we walked to The Woolworth for lunch, another place I had been to, but didn’t realize it until we got there. We sat outside and soaked up the sun – it was lovely. For dinner, we wanted another steak dinner (when in Dallas) and after some research we decided on Nick & Sam’s, which was great! The bar was a little dark/loud, but the drinks and food were awesome!

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All and all, although we had an unexpected 6 night vacation (as opposed to 4), it was awesome. RM is my favorite person to travel with – it’s great how well we travel together! We are always on the same page about where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. so it makes it so fun! We are already planning our next adventure – thinking of Europe in the fall!

If you have any questions or want more info on any of our travel details, let me know! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – I share all sorts of things!

Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight D.C. Workout {~20 mins}

Good morning! I’m so glad so many of you liked the D.C. recap that I posted earlier this week. To keep the D.C. trip theme going, today I’m sharing a quickie at-home, bodyweight workout that I did in the comforts of our Airbnb. One of the fun things about traveling for me, is coming up with different types of quickie workouts that can be done anywhere. Sure, I could’ve checked out a fitness studio, but the goal for my vacation workouts is to get them done quickly so that they aren’t interrupting our other plans. If I took a class at a studio, it would require more time on my part when you think about how long those classes are, where I would have to travel to get to one, etc. Running is always an option, but with the amount of walking we were doing, the last thing I felt like I needed to do was log more miles.

Of course, and I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if I didn’t feel like working out while on vacation, I wouldn’t force it on myself! But that’s generally an every day mindset I try to have. Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I should skip workouts and eat and drink everything in site – that’s just not a mentality that I want to have. Plus, it makes me feel yucky! So, when I travel, I try to keep the same mindset I have when I’m not traveling when it comes to working out and food and drinks: listen to my body! If I feel like resting, I rest. If I feel like having a decadent dessert, I eat it without regret. If I want a salad for lunch, I eat it.

That said, since movement is something that’s so ingrained in me, I generally want to do some of it when I travel, and quickie, at home workouts are generally what I opt for (unless there’s a gym where we stay – in that case I’ll usually check it out!). This one is great because covers all the bases – lower, upper, core & cardio. I was dripping sweat by the time I was finished! Even better? I was showered and ready for breakfast by the time RM got out of bed!

The format of this workout is common to what you generally see on B2B: I picked 6 exercises I liked and felt like doing – on vacation, there is no need to spend time doing exercises you don’t like, no matter how “good” they are for you to do! It’s all about getting in some sort of movement (if you feel up to it!), and doing exercises you like makes it so much better.

Bodyweight D.C. Workout

In case you missed my videos on my Insta Story, some of the ones you may have questions on are here:

 

As always, I’d love to hear if you tried this out!

I’d also like to hear your thoughts on mindset when it comes to traveling. Do you tend to try and keep the same mindset you have in your every day, non-traveling life or do you tend to “let loose” and eat/drink/not workout with the “hey! I’m on vacation!” mentality?

Weekending in D.C.


Last weekend, RM and I hopped on a quick flight to D.C. It’s been on our “want to visit” list for a while, and when I found a great price on flights (that we could use our JetBlue CC points on!) and a super cool Airbnb, we decided to jump on it. All of the sites I went to said that September through November were the best times to visit D.C., weather-wise, so it worked out perfectly.

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We opted to fly out on a Saturday as it was cheaper than a Friday, and I think I actually liked it better than leaving on a Thursday. We flew into the Ronald Reagan airport, which I would recommend as it was a quick 15 minute Uber into downtown D.C. Plus, JetBlue has flights basically every hour so it’s easy to find something that works for you! We opted for the 8:40am flight out of Boston, allowing us to sleep to a normal hour and still get us to D.C. by 10:30am.

We stayed in a really great Airbnb in Logan Circle, which was the absolute perfect location for us. It was within a 5 minute walk to 14th Street, which is lined with restaurants, bars, cafe’s and stores. It was about 1-2 miles to the major sites, but we would rather be close to restaurants than the sites so it worked out well. Here’s the link if you’re looking for the best place to stay: Affordable Luxury – Locan Circle. Penny was so nice and helpful and the Airbnb had everything we could need or want. We both loved the feeling of “going home” after a long day of touristy things on our feet.

We quickly dropped our things off and headed out for a quick snack (and drink) before making our way to the White House. We ended up at Slipstream, which was totally our style – lots of healthy food options, good coffee and tasty bubbly 😉

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From there, we walked to the White House, Washington Monument (which is HUGE, btw, I couldn’t get over it and kept talking about it all weekend, lol), WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and more. It was a lot of walking and a lot of site-seeing, but it was a great way to kick off the weekend!

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We walked our way back up to 14th Street and popped in at Churchkey for a drink and a snack. They have a HUGE beer selection, so if craft beers is your thing, I’d suggest checking it out. When we finished up, we stopped in at the Whole Foods to stock up on necessities for our stay: breakfast items, fruit, snacks, beer & wine. Loved having that handy!

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After resting up and showering, we decided to go to Estadio, which was a Spanish tapas restaurant. We found seats at the bar as soon as we got there, which was lucky because the place got so busy throughout the night! Everything about this restaurant was excellent – the bar staff, drinks, food & vibe. Seriously, we were both in foodie and drink heaven! While we sipped our drinks (Tecolate – Tequila & Cava, Rosemary & Grapefruit, for me and Old Raj Gin & Orange Thyme Tonic for RM – the Orange Thyme Tonic was house-made and so good!), we took recommendations from the bar tender. We opted for the following dishes: Bacalao Crudo, Jalapeño, Avocado, Orange & Olive Oil, the Calamari, the Sauteed Shrimp, the Grilled Pork Loin, Crispy Kale & Seared Peaches and then the Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onions, Pine Nuts & Currants. We ended with a Pumpkin Bread Pudding which was TO DIE FOR. Seriously, one of the best desserts we’ve had!

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On Sunday, I started the day with a quickie workout and then we made our way to the National Archives Museum to see the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Constitution and more.  I’ve heard that this museum can have long lines, but we got there early enough to avoid them so it was great. From there, we went to the Capitol Building, Library of Congress, Botanical Gardens, National Air and Space Museum and ended at the Holocaust Museum. It was a long day of tourism things, but everything we saw was incredible, but I have to say I was most moved by the Holocaust Museum. It was a really intensely powerful museum and there were times where I got really emotional. I’m still thinking about it, so even though it was a lot to take in, I would highly suggest visiting if you can.

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Once again, before we went back to our Airbnb, we popped into a bar for a drink. This time we ended up at Pearl Dive Oyster Bar, which was great because they had an outdoor bar and a good scene of people.

For dinner, we opted for a casual dinner at Etto Pizzeria, where we had a delicious meal. We started with some cured meats and a spicy cauliflower dish and then shared a pizza and everything was really good! Plus, sitting outside in October is pretty great 🙂

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On our last day in D.C., we opted for less touristy stuff and decided to head over to Georgetown for shopping and walking around. We stopped by the White House first, though, hoping we might see some action (we didn’t 😦 ).

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Georgetown reminded us both of Newbury/Boylston, but also Beacon Hill. The only difference was that there were more stores and fewer restaurants. It was a really fun way to spend the day end end out the vacation – and we scored some great things!

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For our last dinner, we went to Ghibellina. I had wanted to go to Le Diplomate because it was recommended to us by the Airbnb owner and every website we went to, but it was always super busy. Ghibellina was great, though, and we enjoyed a casual meal at the bar.
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All in all, it was such a wonderful trip! I’m not a huge history person, but I have to say that I really enjoyed all of the history that D.C. has to offer – it was a pretty incredible city! I hope you find this post helpful if you decide to take a trip to D.C.!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to DC? What’s a city that’s been on your “want to visit” list? Do you prefer active vacations or beachy vacations?

 

Quick Charleston Weekend

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing? Did you have a nice 4th? My blog had a ton of hits earlier this week, mostly relating to 4th of July workouts so I hope you guys found something fun to do! We had a great 1 year anniversary trip back in Jackson, NH. I’ll share more on that later, but today I wanted to share my recap of a recent trip to Charleston, SC  enjoy!

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A few weeks ago, I went to Charleston, SC for a bachelorette party. Charleston is a city that’s been on my “want to visit” list for a long time, so I was thrilled when the bride-to-be picked it as the destination. Not only was I excited to finally get to experience the charm that is always depicted in the pictures I see people share, but I was also excited at the potential possibility of running into someone from Southern Charm 😉 This is my not-so-guilty pleasure show that I absolutely love! Lucky for me, we did get to see Chelsea driving down the street with her mom in a little golf cart. And yes, I did run out of the bar (The Gentry, owned by another cast member on the show, JD) to say hello… I was totally that girl!

Let’s back up, though. Due to my work/teaching schedule, I decided to fly out on a Saturday morning and home on  Monday morning. I scheduled a 6am flight so that I could get there early enough to basically have the whole day.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in this post, that did not happen as there was a snafu with my luggage (spoiler alert & update: my luggage was found AND returned to me with NOTHING missing. My faith in humanity has been restored!) so by the time I got there, it was nearly 5pm so I had just enough time to chug a vino at the apartment before literally running down King street trying to shop for necessities before the stores closed at 6pm. Woof.

 

That said, my Charleston experience barely brushed the surface of what I was hoping for, but it just means we will need to go back again!

Where We Stayed

The bride-to-be’s cousin and my sister coordinated most of the weekend’s details and found the most amazing AirBnB rental for us to stay at for Saturday & Sunday night. It was on Society Street, which is right off of King street, one of the most popular streets in Charleston, lined with shops & restaurants. I would highly suggest this place if you’re going with a group and need lots of space. It has two big bedrooms and plenty of the space in the living room for an air mattress, 2.5 bathrooms, private garage parking included, a gym in the facility and a HUGE outdoor patio/deck space.

What We Did & Where We Ate

Although I was not there on Friday night, the girls who were there had dinner at 5Church, which they all raved about! They said the decor, atmosphere, food & drinks were all amazing, so it’s definitely a place I would like to check out.

On Saturday, my sister had made lunch reservations at HUSK, which is a very well-known, highly visited restaurant in Charleston. Unfortunately, due to my baggage fiasco, I did not get to Charleston in time for this, which I was REALLY bummed about. The girls said that it was one of the best lunches they’ve ever had!

Once I did get to Charleston, we shopped quickly and then saddled up in a corner window area of The Gentry, which is a bar owned by JD on the show Southern Charm. This place had a cool vibe and the Rose was delicious! We share a few starter plates which were also great.

Since we had plans of going out on Saturday night, we opted to hang out at the apartment and order pizza, which was a great idea as it gave us 7 girls plenty of time to get ready, catch up and have fun.

We ultimately ended up at Republic, which was more of a club atmosphere than I was anticipating. However, we made our way outside to the bar area and it was much quieter and a better scene for chatting and hanging out (although I would’ve loved to have danced all night inside the club!).

Sunday we went out to Folly Beach and had lunch right outside, basically on the water, at Blu, which was awesome! They have a huge deck, great drinks and food and live music! I could’ve spent hours just hanging out and drinking on that deck, but the beach was ultimately calling our name so after lunch we set up shop in the sand.

While walking to dinner on Sunday night, we decided to pop into a restaurant with a cool looking roofdeck, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it 😦 From there, we walked to Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House for dinner and we were able to sit outside in their little patio area. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining! The food was SO good- we shared some apps and then got a various array of different dinner items and shared those as well. We finished out the night at Vendue for a little more roof deck action. Since it was a Sunday, things were pretty quiet so we went back to the Airbnb after 1 drink.

My flight was at 9am on Monday so I was up and out pretty early. The flight Gods were on my side and our first flight left early and I was able to get on an earlier connection flight back to Boston which was really great, especially after my less than stellar airport/flying experience on the way to Charleston.

Overall, even thought the weekend started our rough and I thought that I was never getting my bag back, it was such a FUN weekend spent with a really great group of girls. Can’t wait for the big day in August!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Charleston, SC? What was your favorite part? What’s a city on your “want to visit” list?